Giovannie and the Hired Guns first caught our attention when we came across their single, “Better Days”. We really dug the sound and vibe, so when their new tunes hit our inbox last week, we were eager to take a listen. We were happy to find that “Bad Habits” is 11 tracks of the raw energy and grit we dug from the single! After getting to play-through it a few times and really dig in to it, we began to notice the songwriting — the stories, the insightful lyrics, and the originality in the writing. Needless to say we were impressed.
Between the their gritty sound, notable songwriting, and Josh Serrato and Ben Hussey helping bring the project to life, we definitely recommend getting your hands on when it drops tomorrow (8/25)!
We had the chance to chat with Lipan, Texas group about the new album, music influences, what is was like working with Josh Serrato and Ben Hussey, and more!
Texas Music Pickers: Tell us a little about yourself.
Giovannie and the Hired Guns: Giovannie and the Hired Guns came together roughly three years ago in Lipan, TX (20 miles northwest of Stephenville). During the first year and a half, the “hired guns” were basically a variety of different musicians that Gio would hire for gigs. It wasn’t until late 2016 that we had a consistent lineup of musicians, which is the lineup that you see and hear today.
TMP: Who would you describe as influences?
GATHG: I think one of the biggest contributing factors of our sound is the fact that we all come from different musical backgrounds and have a big variety of influences. I mean these range from bands like Lucero to Randy Rogers, Lynyrd Skynrd to Led Zeppelin, even heavier acts such as Coheed and Cambria or Queens of the Stone Age. I feel that such a variety of influence really provides us with endless ideas and sounds.
TMP: Tell us about the album, “Bad Habits”.
GATHG: Bad Habits is basically a collection of songs that we have written as a band within the last year to year and a half. We were originally going to release an EP earlier this year with a few of the tracks that are on the record but decided we wanted to go with a full length. We had written tons of songs over the last year and felt that a full length would allow us to get more out there for our fans and also give a better representation on the different styles we bring to the table. It has a little Texas country, a little alternative, and a lot of rock n roll. There are some very different styles going onto this but I feel it really encompasses everything that we are about without sounding out of context.
TMP: With this being your debut record, what are you hoping to accomplish with it?
GATHG: I think our biggest goal with the record is just to get it out there for people to hear. We have been gigging regularly for the last two years or so and the main thing people ask us is “Do you guys have music we can buy?” It will be nice to finally have a product that people can listen to and share with others.
TMP: Josh Serrato and Ben Hussey have been cranking out some bad ass records over at Boyd Street Studios. Tell us about why you chose to record there and what the recording process was like with them.
GATHG: Man we have been friends with Ben and Josh for a little while now and known a lot of the artists that have done projects out there. We felt it would be a great opportunity to work with a couple of guys who are crazy talented and have an amazing ear for music. We are also from the Stephenville area so it was really great to have a studio right outside of our hometown. As far as the recording process, it was absolutely fantastic. It was a very chill atmosphere and they are the kind of guys who will get you out there and let you do your thing. They run a great operation and are some of the absolute best dudes in the business.
TMP: One of our favorite tracks is “Another Time”. Can you provide us with some background on it?
GATHG: Absolutely. Another Time was a tune written after one of our good buddies went through a pretty tough breakup. A lot of the elements from the song kind of reflect on his mood/actions during that time. I remember spending some time with him after it all happened and a lot of the ideas came to me right then. It reminded me of when I went through a similar breakup and some of thoughts that run through your head.
TMP: If you had to pick just one song from the album, which song are you the most proud of?
GATHG: If I had to choose, I would have to say Lines. Lines is kind of the pinnacle point on the record where everything slows down and kind of sets the mood for the second half of the album. I feel that lyrically and instrumentally it is one of our biggest achievements. It was also one of the first songs written for the band and is still one of our favorites.
TMP: What do you have lined up for the album release?
GATHG: We have of couple shows lined up for the release weekend at two of our favorite bars. One being at our hometown bar, Bostock’s Billiards & Bar, and the other at Whiskey Girl Saloon in Fort Worth.
TMP: The lead single “Better Days” had a pretty good response. It’s at about 6,000 streams on Spotify and created some buzz for you guys. Do you have the album’s next single planned for release?
GATHG: We have a couple songs in mind that we are wanting to push towards radio. Saturday Night is one of the main considerations at the moment, being one of our more upbeat tunes that people can dance to. We have also considered pushing Lonely For Your Love since it has a slower vibe to it.
TMP: What’s on the horizon for “Giovannie and the Hired Guns”?
GATHG: For now, most of what will be happening is pushing this record as hard as we can and continuing to play across Texas. We have a pretty good fall schedule mapped out and will be hitting the road as much as possible. We have bigger gigs in the works and are always constantly trying to grow as a unit.
TMP: Is there anything else you want your fans to know?
GATHG: We are extremely grateful for all of our fans that have helped us get this far and for continuing to come out and support us at shows. They are the main reason we get to do this and we seriously couldn’t do this without them.
Take a listen to one of our favorite tracks, “Another Time” below!
You can also take a listen to some of our favorite tracks here on our TMP Spotify Playlist once the album drops Friday: https://open.spotify.com/user/texas_music_pickers/playlist/4X1EDu99kIPVqHleQfLen2
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.